Saturday, August 1, 2015

First Month Wrap-Up

I wasn't going to do this, because a) I've barely been blogging longer than a month and b) I figured if people didn't read it to begin with, why would the want to read about reading about it?  But Nicole at Feed Your Fiction Addiction pointed out that since most of us don't have time to read all the blogs we might be interested in, a monthly wrap-up can let people skim through and choose which post/s they might want to go back and read.

I started my blog way back in late June of 2015.  I started with your basic "This is why I too am starting a blog" post, a discussion post about censorship in the classroom, and my version of TBT.

I will use Thursdays to either meander on about my childhood experiences with books, libraries, and reading, or to highlight a book I loved as a kid.  My favorite post this month was one about my older sisters and how they guided and continue to influence my reading life.  In July, those books were The Singing Tree and The Good Master, both by Kate Seredy, Starring Sally J. Freedman As Herself, by Judy Blume, The Long Secret, by Louise Fitzhugh, and The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Maria Von Trapp Julie Andrews Edwards.

I also got all excited about the Top Ten Tuesday meme, and posted about ten books featuring diversity, ten of my favorite settings, ten memories I have from my reading life, and five different sets of hyped books I haven't yet read.  I also found some very fun "tags" that encouraged more list-making: the Seven Deadly Sins tag and the Chocolate tag.  I reviewed some new-to-me books, my favorite of which was Maggie Stiefvater's The Scorpio Races.  Also-rans were After, by Francine Prose and Inside Out and Back Again by Tanhha Lai.  I cut-and-pasted mini reviews from Goodreads, which I'm thinking was kind of lame of me.  Sorry.

My remaining posts were about why I'm not reading the books on my "currently reading" list, how I've beefed up my classroom library this summer, how I feel about book reviews overall, a random list of things that bug me, and a link to my guest post on Nerdy Book Club, about adoption themed picture books.

Obviously, this has been a huge month for me, getting this thing up and running.  I have learned how to add pages and how to navigate the world of side bars, how to link to pictures, and that I need to CHILL OUT on checking my comments and stats.  I've done lots of research in the form of wandering all over the place looking at other people's blogs, and I've gained technical ideas, books to read, fonts to avoid, and writing prompts.   I would LOVE to see more discussions developing, but I know I'm brand new.  I also have concerns about keeping up the pace once I get back to work in three weeks.   Is twice a week enough?  Also, my side bar--too much?

According to Goodreads, I read 23 books in July: three picture books (read dozens of picture books to the kids, but these were the ones I noted), five graphic novels, eleven YA and MG novels, and four adult books (but two of those were George R. R. Martin's massive dramas, so it counts as more, right?)

Also in July I went camping for two nights with my kids and my sister (our husbands aren't big campers), had a couple of "let's be tourists in our own town" dates with each of my kids individually, resurfaced the peach tile in our 80s bathrooms, stayed up way too late way too often and then let the kids have way too much screen time the next morning as I slept in, applied for and didn't get a job as a school librarian, and decided to start taking classes towards actually adding that certification to my teaching license.
What I should be reading more often.  Kids in the pool means Mama can concentrate on her work! 

Mt. Hood from Trillium Lake. 

One day we walked along the waterfront, crossed a bridge, played in this fountain, and looped back across another bridge.

The pool at my old high school is sure a lot fancier now.


  1. Welcome to the blogosphere! You have a lot of amazing content, and the monthly review is a helpful way for your readers to navigate it.

    On your "new blogger" questions, I think that twice a week is probably reasonable when you're back to working full time. Consistency is helpful for readers but the frequency should be what works for you.

    And personally I would do less in the sidebar -- when I started mine looked just like yours but then I started paring it down and down. My preference is also to put the "search" and "follow/subscribe" widgets at the top. You want those to be easy to find.

    Looking forward to more!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! I took your advice and re-worked my sidebar. I started the blog thinking it would be for my students, but I think I would have to start a separate blog if I want something more student friendly. That meant I could remove some of my links and other doo-dads.

  2. I'm so glad that you decided to link up because this is the perfect example of why I love month end wrap-ups - there are several posts here that sound really interesting to me that I'm now going to go read. Glad I didn't miss out!! I think your sidebar looks great, and twice a week posting is just fine if that's what you're comfortable with - you don't want to get overwhelmed!

    Welcome to the blogosphere!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  3. 23 books is excellent for one month! Wish I still read that much.
    Happy August reading!

  4. Congrats on starting a blog! Love that looks fun to play in!


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